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Process Focus: Closing

After initiating the project and planning it, one begins to work on the project. The execution is important, and so is the monitoring and controlling. But after the project manager has made sure that the end results match the project objectives, after he or she has worked to solve problems and used project management software to track results, the final output of the project is presented to superiors and sponsors. And this process group and its activities are known as closing. Closing is a great learning tool that can help project managers and team members alike learn to improve their skills for the next project. Closing consists of these main parts: formal acceptance by the sponsor, final reports and evaluations for the record, follow up plan, and debriefing.

Formal acceptance by the sponsor. This is a very important part of the closing process group. The acceptance by the sponsor indicates that the final output is of a desired quality, and that most, if not all, of the project objectives were met. An enthusiastic or appreciative acceptance indicates a project that ended in rousing success. Formal acceptance means that it is given in writing, so that the project manager has a record that the sponsor did in fact consider the project successful.

Final reports and evaluations. Final reports and evaluations can often be compiled with the help of project management software. These are the final looks at what happened over the course of the project. The project manager should prepare, possibly with the help of her or his project team, an end report that specifies the final result and how it was reached. The end evaluations should be a faithful record of what was done right and what could have been done better. Evaluations of team member contributions should also be included with the final reports and evaluations.

Follow up plan. Many projects require follow up. A plan should be made to assist in this, and the necessary resources allocated to properly follow up. If there is a work hand off involved, arrangements for a smooth transfer are also part of the closing project management process group.

Debriefing. This is a very important aspect of the entire project process. If the project manager would like assistance in creating charts and tables, or getting the statistical information to make a debriefing presentation, he or she can turn to a the project management software used throughout the project. This puts everything into empirical form that is easy to see. The debriefing should involve a discussion with the team members, the project management, and the sponsors. Other stakeholders may also be involved. The discussion should include making an expanded lessons learned list to add to what was already made during the monitoring and controlling stage. Additionally, it should include a discussion on what could have been done to help the project go smoother or have a better end result.

Article by Remedysoft, Inc.
All Rights Reserved .The closing portion of a project is important because it provides insight. It is a great opportunity for receiving closure on the project, learning, and a way to formally congratulate those who made the project a success.


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